Friday, March 15, 2013

We bought a bus and it's Just Right for us.

You may or may not know us. My husband Chris and I are high school sweethearts with big dreams. It wasn't until this year, however, that we realized our "big dreams" are being held back by "big stuff". Over the past 4 years we moved from one apartment to another, the whole while collecting more and more "stuff" until finally this year it hit us. We've been buying things that we don't need to fill space that we don't need. Although we're a ways away from any permanent damage, we started to dread the idea of becoming stuck in the stuff-filled world of so many Americans drowning in debt.

Kelly and Chris on their first date, 2004
Although we'll have a considerable amount of debt to pay back anyways (Chris just finished his second year of medical school) we decided to dig our feet in and come up with a change, a solution. We've spent months researching alternative dwellings. For a while we considered building a Tiny House like the ones made famous by Jay Schaffer and the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. However, it was one afternoon when I stumbled across the Enchanted Gypsy Bus that I felt this was a true option for us. We decided that a bus would provide the mobility and size that we're looking for and enough safety to please our families.

So we began our search, and after meeting Greg over at BGA buses in Hudson, FL, we knew we had our "Bus Guy". Greg was so incredibly helpful during our search. He talked with us for over 3 hours until 10PM the first time we met and encouraged me to email him frequently with any questions. Every time I emailed him a question I got a very thorough response (in his words he writes "books, not letters"). After about a month Chris and I drove up again to see Greg and ended up purchasing our wonderful bus.

She's a 1991 Ford Thomas-11 row/64 passenger with a 6.6L Fort New Holland diesel engine. These engines are used in tractors and are "indestructible". She came with an automatic transmission (AT545) and air brakes and only 127,000 miles. This is incredible considering that's fewer miles than my car and these engines have been known to run for 500,000-900,000 miles! Greg had just driven her 800 miles from Lynchburg, VA the day before and said she ran great the whole way. Lynchburg is a very dry county (not as in beer, as in weather) and receives less than 18 inches of snow on average a year. This limited her exposure to salt roads and as a result she had essentially no rust underneath. We found out later that the reason for the low mileage is that she was a "spare bus" and didn't have a regular route, at least for the last 5 years. She's Perfect!

Chris pulling up for the first time with our new home!

Showing off our engine

This storage box was bolted shut and we were sure there was treasure in it.
Instead we found a pile of sand and Bailey!

I know many of our friends and family members will have a lot of questions and we're happy to answer them. In fact, I plan on having several posts that answer some of the more FAQ's. For now though we want you to know that we're very excited about this next step in our adventure and so appreciative of the amount of support we've received.

For those that doubt this is doable or question our sanity we have this to say. It may be too small for you, it may be too old for you,  it may be too much work for you,it may be too crazy for you. All we can say to that is, it's Just Right for us.

Bailey says the bus seems Just Right for her too.


  1. I knew I should've went with the bus idea instead!

  2. Haha, David, your Tiny house is going to be far cuter than our bus!